Motorists who visited Topeka service area possibly exposed to COVID-19

July 8, 2020

Tyson Fisher


Drivers who stopped at the Topeka service area over the holiday weekend may have been exposed to COVID-19, Kansas health officials are warning the public.

On Tuesday, July 7, the Shawnee County Health Department issued a news release warning the public of possible exposure to COVID-19 at a rest area. The health department has identified COVID-19 cases linked to the Topeka service area on the Interstate 70 turnpike located at mile marker 188 just east of Topeka. The service area facility is accessible both eastbound and westbound.

Exposure to COVID-19 has been identified at the food court and restroom at the Topeka service area.

According to the news release, motorists who entered the food court or restrooms between July 2 and July 4 are should contact their primary care provider if they develop any of the following symptoms within 14 days from the date of their visit:

  • Fever of 100.4 F or higher.
  • Chills.
  • Rigors.
  • Myalgia (muscle pain or aches).
  • Malaise.
  • Headache.
  • Sore throat.
  • Lower respiratory illness (cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing).
  • New olfactory and taste disorders.
  • Diarrhea.

Shawnee County, Kan., has reported 844 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 13 deaths, according to the COVID-19 Dashboard by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.  The Shawnee County Health Department is reporting that 540 of those cases have resulted in recovery, with 291 cases still active. More than 350 people are being monitored and 10 people are currently hospitalized. Nearly 15,000 tests have been conducted in the county.

Topeka Service Area-related COVID-19 cases
Total active cases in Shawnee County, Kan. (chart by Shawnee County Health Department)

Statewide, Kansas is reporting nearly 17,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including more than 1,200 hospitalizations and nearly 300 deaths. The Sunflower State also is reporting more than 185,000 negative tests of the more than 200,000 tests conducted.

Nationwide, there have been more than 3 million confirmed cases, with more than 936,000 recovered and more than 130,000 deaths. Nearly 37 million tests have been conducted nationwide.

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Tyson Fisher

Tyson Fisher joined Land Line Magazine in March 2014. An award-winning journalist and tireless researcher, his news reports, features and blogs bring depth to our editorial content, backed with solid detail. Tyson is a lifelong Kansas Citian.